Good Gaming – Halo Reach PC Beta Signups (last chance!)

If you want to join in, the remastered version of Halo: Reach is entering BETA testing on PC – so this is your last chance to jump in! (without buying the Game Pass subscription that is)

Signups for this one are two-fold, first, you’ll need to become an Xbox Insider, then a Halo insider, as the two accounts are tied together.

You’ll also need to provide your PC DXDIAG information during the process, so you can’t really do this one from your smartphone.

Step #1: Sign up for Xbox Insider here

Step #2: Sign up for Halo Insider here

Halo Insiders who choose to opt in to PC flighting will be considered for early access play sessions with in-development Halo games.  Every improvement to Halo: The Master Chief Collection over the past year was the direct result of Insiders participating in flights and sharing feedback to the development team. Each public flight has specific goals, meaning not all Insiders will be selected for every flight. To increase your chances for selection, make sure your Halo Insider settings are complete and accurate – and verify your email right away.

GAME ON!

Good Gaming Cafe – Pixel Lounge NZ

PC gaming is great fun, and gaming with your friends makes it even better. Online play, gaming headsets and webcams have come a long way but nothing beats being in the same room while you team up to destroy the bad guys (or each other). While we certainly grab our rigs and head over to a mates place, if there are a few of you this can become quite the mission, especially with everyone needing to plug in their monitors and PC in, and then there’s that having everyone connected to same home WiFi thing 😛

Thankfully the internet cafe has evolved into the modern gaming lounge, and the best one in Auckland is Pixel Lounge. It hasn’t been around that long either, but that’s one of its biggest strengths – everything in the cafe is modern, you’ll be able to play comfortably on deluxe Corsair gaming chairs, treating your eyes with ultra fast 240Hz LG monitors while powerful ROG / Ryzen builds push out all the frames you could want 🙂

Having the best components and gaming gear certainly helps, but the Pixel Lounge team has gone above and beyond to add in all the little things too, making the total experience you’ll have a good one. The environment they’ve created is rather brilliant, with a combination of decals and canvas that line the walls of the primary gaming area, which seats up to 20 players. There is an additional chill out area that has couches, coffee tables and a dining too – making it perfect for taking a quick break to talk tactics while enjoying a cappuccino and some tasty snacks – and I’m very happy to say that this isn’t just a cup of instant either, Pixel Coffee, a real standalone cafe, is right there too!

Casual gaming aside for a little bit, another thing that Pixel Lounge does really well is competitive gaming. If you enjoy a bit of PVP, or you would like to get involved with the New Zealand eSports community and join a local group, then you should look out for events posted on the Pixel Lounge Facebook page – just last week they were hosting the UoA University Rumble finals and it was a good time had by all, with live streaming and plenty of action as the teams smashed each other in League of Legends with tonnes of Riot points up as prizes for the event. You don’t need to be a pro, it’s totally fine if you’re wanting to get involved but would like a little help getting everything together first, the Pixel Lounge team can even coach you along with pro tips and training sessions available should you want them.

Now onto the most important stuff, and it’s going to get pretty technical 🙂 How do they give so many people in one location such a smooth online gaming experience? Well, Pixel Lounge run a pretty ridiculous IT infrastructure. CAT6A network with 10GB switches, very high tier Voyager business fibre & their very own Bootserver. Essentially all the gaming machines boot via the network and only use the internal M.2 as cache, so everyone gets their own fresh image of Windows paired with an 8TB gamedisk. It is seriously cool stuff and keeps everyone’s sessions instanced, with no retained data 🙂 Brilliant!

The Pixel Lounge is located at 342 Great North Road, here is a google maps link to get you there, and once you’re close you really can’t miss the glowing sign pictured below!

GAME ON!

Good Overclocking – Benchmarks and BSOD

Today we’re looking at the software and methods used for overclocking different systems with various brands/combinations of hardware inside. If you’ve never done this before it’s easier than ever before, with new Ai scanning tools that will help dodge the blue screen of death that occurs when we push our systems just that little bit too far 🙂 As always, overclock at your own risk! Doing this will void your warranty and it can also damage your components. As we reach the limits on OC, our computers will likely freeze, BSOD and display odd graphical colour pops – all indications that we should pull back.

The basics are: Some Asus, Gigabyte Aorus and ASRock motherboards will allow you to overclock certain processors, graphics cards and memory to achieve better performance.

This could be for a ranking competition or simply for better frames in your favourite games.

While the overclocking process is similar with all, the software used for each varies depending on which brand you’re working with, be it AMD or Intel, EVGA or ROG & so on.

Before we jump into all the overclocking itself though, we’ll need something to test the system with. This is a good place to start as you’ll be running these benchmarks over and over again while you do the actual overclocking – and if you don’t run them first you’ll have to base performance marks to compare with!

Testing the Overclock – Benchmarks

Benchmarks provide a repeatable test, letting us check the system stability or performance, with a score at the end to compare with others from around the world. The game themed ones can be used by players seeking more information on what a certain upgrade/configuration would result in more FPS, while others provide a score to get you onto the global leaderboards.

There are lots of options, links to our GG favourites below!

Free Benchmarks

Prime 95 – A handy tool for overclockers and system stability checkers, Prime95 has a feature called “Torture Test” that allows maximum stress testing on the CPU and RAM. There are several options allowing the stress test to focus on the memory, processor, or a balance of both.

Prime 95 – https://www.guru3d.com/files-details/prime95-download.html

Final Fantasy Series – These run through various scenes in the game, counting the FPS to give you a final score at the end.

Final Fantasy XV – http://benchmark.finalfantasyxv.com/na/

Final Fantasy Shadowbringers – https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/benchmark/

UNIGENE – The free mode lets you check performance and stability in a beautiful, detailed environment.

Heaven UNIGINE – https://benchmark.unigine.com/heaven

Vally UNIGINE – https://benchmark.unigine.com/valley

Paid Benchmarks

3D Mark – The king of the hill when it comes to competitive overlocking, with leaderboards and loads of modes.

3D Mark – https://www.3dmark.com/

With any of the software above downloaded & installed, we’re ready to get the tools needed to do the actual overclocks. We’ll break this into different groups to keep things super easy.

Overclock GPU

By far the easiest to do, and able to be done with most graphics cards from the entry-level GTX 1650 to the highest end RTX 2080 Ti, overclocking your GPU is a fun way to get into the swing of things. The tools used focus on 2 main customisation points, core clock and memory clock – increases to either result in more performance.

Software: Brand dependant, you can find these on the brand websites for your specific graphics card too (the best place to get the latest version)

Asus GPU Tweak II – https://www.asus.com/us/site/graphics-cards/gpu-tweak-ii/
EVGA Precision X1 – https://www.evga.com/precisionx1/
Aorus Engine – http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList/Utility/vga_utility_aorus_setup_v1.6.8.exe

All the software packages work in the same way, but the interface for each is a little different. Be sure to run your benchmark first, at normal settings, and note the score before you start to play with these tools.

If you’re using RTX you can actually have the software OC for you, finding the limits and adjusting the settings automatically. If you want to do this select OC Scanner.

If you’re keen to manually overclock though, ensure fans are set to AUTO or 100%, and turn the power limit slider to max!

Then we slowly tweak up the Boost Clock with +100, with each increase, we click the tick to apply the settings – and then run the benchmark again and note the score.

Once the system starts to freak out, freeze or display error we ease back on the Boost Clock, and start increasing the Memory Clock.

The process is the same, raising the Memory Clock +100 until system failure strikes.

You can also click and type in target clock speed rather than using the sliders too, this becomes more helpful when you start to reach limits!

You’ll see the results in your benchmarks, and with our graphics card now overclocked we can move onto the CPU.

This one’s a little more involved so we’re going to grab a bunch of screenshots – keep your eyes on GGPC Blog for the latest!

BORN TO HUNT – Wolfenstein: Youngblood RTX BONUS!

UPDATE: This promotion has been updated to the new SUPERFAST SUPERNATURAL RTX Game Bonus with Control + Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Nvidia have kicked off a new free game bonus offer with selected RTX Graphics Cards or RTX Gaming Laptops/Gaming PC featuring this hardware.

For a limited time and while code stocks last you can register to redeem a game code for Wolfenstein: Youngblood!

Essentials…

This promotion is only valid from authorised retailers, see the full range of eligible Wolfenstein: Youngblood RTX Graphics Cards, Gaming PC and Laptops at PB Tech.

Eligible graphics for promotion: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, RTX 2070, and RTX 2060

Bundle Valid on purchase dates: May 28th – Aug 6th, 2019

Wolfenstein: Youngblood is the first modern co-op Wolfenstein adventure. Team up with a friend or play solo as one of BJ Blazkowicz’s twin daughters and wield a powerful arsenal of new weapons, gadgets, and abilities to liberate Paris from the Nazis.

Good Graphics Card – WIN the ASUS ROG MATRIX RTX 2080 Ti!

This promotion has now ended, you have until July 14th to submit your entry!

Those fine folks at ASUS have just announced an awesome new promotion with a top tier ASUS ROG MATRIX 2080 Ti Graphics Card as the main prize!

The first 50 entries also instantly win a Limited Edition ROG gift too, it’s a random treat but among the prizes is a great looking figurine (fingers crossed).

To be in to win you must purchase selected ASUS products, then take a photo of your purchase in a creative way, finally fill in the entry form on the Asus WIN a Matrix 2080 Ti Competition Registration Page. Asus also want you to share your brilliant image via Facebook or Instagram, so be sure to tag in @AUSROG (facebook) or #ASUSAU (instagram) so the team can check it out!

This promotion is valid on purchases from June 3rd – 30th 2019, and only on the following Asus products available now in New Zealand. All entries must be in before the 14th July.

Intel Motherboards:

X299 ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI EXTREME OMEGA

Z390 ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI EXTREME

Z390 ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI FORMULA

Z390 ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI GENE

Z390 ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO (WIFI)

Z390 ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING (WIFI)

Z390 ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-F GAMING

Z390 ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-H GAMING

Z390 ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING (WIFI)

H370 ASUS ROG STRIX H370-F GAMING

AMD Motherboards:

X470 ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VII HERO (WIFI)

B450 ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F GAMING

X470 ASUS ROG STRIX X470-I GAMING

RTX Graphics Cards:

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 OC

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2060

GTX Graphics Cards:

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1660 Ti OC

ASUS STRIX GeForce GTX 1060

ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Gaming Monitors:

ROG SWIFT PG27VQ

ROG SWIFT PG279Q

ROG SWIFT PG248Q

ROG STRIX XG35VQ

ROG STRIX XG32VQ

ROG STRIX XG27VQ

ROG STRIX XG258Q

So much great Asus ROG gear, and such an amazing prize up for grabs!

GAME ON!

GGPC Logitech G June Winner Announced!

UPDATE: This event has now ended, check out the latest GGPC Promotions here!

UPDATE: June event winner is Daniel S – Congrats!

Throughout June, if you get yourself a Good Gaming PC you an register to redeem a G240 Gaming Mouse Pad to go with your new Gaming Rig.

The G240 provides edge-to-edge performance on a clean surface with just the right amount of friction for low-DPI manoeuvres. Crafted for maximum control of your mouse movements, your gaming will benefit from the consistent surface texture, also giving your mouse sensors better imagery for translating mouse movement into cursor movement.

A great mousepad for any mouse, but that’s not all, our Massive Gaming Prize Pack will also be going out to one lucky gamer!

IMPORTANT: To be in to win the MEGA Prize you must register for the Logitech G240 Bonus!

Our grand prize for June in made up off three distinctly impressive pieces of Logitech G Gaming Gear, the first of which has only just released in New Zealand, just in time for our lucky winner to enjoy!

G502 is an icon, topping the charts through every generation, and the mouse of choice for serious gamers. Now, G502 joins the ranks of the world’s most advanced wireless gaming mice with the release of G502 Wireless Gaming Mouse. Ultra-fast and reliable with performance trusted in competition by esports pros. G502 LIGHTSPEED also features the next-generation HERO 16K sensor and is POWERPLAY compatible. With this complete advanced technology remastering, G502 LIGHTSPEED still retains the same beloved shape – and achieves a 7-gram weight reduction.

Next up we have the first Logitech G keyboard to wear the emblem of Pro 🙂 Designed and built to the exacting standards of some of the world’s top esports athletes, our lucky winner is in for a treat with the G Pro Gaming Keyboard on their desk! Engineered for extreme performance and designed to win, the short-throw Romer-G switches actuate at just 1.5mm, making them around 25% faster than the competition’s standard mechanical switches.

Providing a perfect blend of speed, precision and quiet performance, this Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard is the stealth assassin of mechanical gaming keyboards.

Completing our lucky winners’ setup is the new Logitech G332 Gaming Headset, just released and looking great in black and red. Pop it onto your head though and you’ll be treated to the glorious audio that comes from the big 50mm drivers within. Enjoy a complete, expansive soundscape for a more immersive gaming experience. Your favorite games will finally sound the way they’re supposed to: absolutely amazing.

A 6mm microphone makes sure your squadmates can hear you, and with the popular flip-to-mute boom feature it can silence you when you don’t want to be heard. Everything else about these headphones revolves around player comfort: The deluxe lightweight leatherette ear cups and headband are made to keep pressure off your ears.

What a bunch of prizes!

Check out the all the latest Gaming PC and awesome Logitech G prizes at  PB Tech NZ, and keep your eyes on the GGPC Blog as we’ll announce the lucky MEGA PRIZE PACK winner at the end of the month!

GAME ON!

Good Custom PC – CM CASEMOD 2019 ANZ

UPDATE: CASEMOD 2019 Worklogs are now live!

Cooler Master have just announced the Case Mod World Series 2019. This global case modding competition invites anyone from first-time tinkerers to seasoned veterans to make and submit their creations from May 21st to Oct 10th.

The Cooler Master Case Mod World Series is the longest running and biggest PC modding event in the world. Each year the event unites the worlds best modders with one common goal – to push the limits of PC Design! Celebrating a decade of dedication to the modding community, Cooler Master announces Case Mod World Series 2019 with two different leagues and the largest cash prize in CMWS history, contestants can look forward to a total prize pool worth $24,000 USD. Cooler Master raised the winning pot to recognize the inspiring commitment that modders have shown over the last 10 years. This year’s event also welcomes up-and-coming talent to be a part of this community, and an opportunity to take their modding to the next level.

“Cooler Master World Series 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of a globally active case modding competition coordinated and supported by Cooler Master. In acknowledgement of a decade of amazing case mods created by the global modding community, the 1st Place Best Tower winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize from Cooler Master for constructing what will no doubt be a masterpiece. The ANZ region is well known for being home to some of the world’s top case modders and truly memorable builds, and so we await to see the builds and skills on display by case modders across the ANZ region, from the Apprentice through to the Master.” – says Josh Collins, Cooler Master ANZ Channel Sales and Marketing Manager.

That’s right folks, the world’s biggest modding competition just got bigger!

With two leagues to join, the competition now makes itself more inviting to both first time modders with the new Apprentice League, and to pros with the Master League.

Master League: Dedicated to established and experienced modders who will be crowned the best of #CMWS19. This category will host both technical wonders and artful masterpieces. Winners will craft their way into modding history, marking their name in the world’s largest modding competition.

Tower 1st Place: $10000
Tower 2nd Place: $5000
Tower 3rd Place: $1000
Best Scratch: $3000

Apprentice League: Welcomes newcomers and up-and-coming talent looking to take their hobby of modding to the next level. Apprentices will have a different stage to compete in and be given the opportunity to gain the support they need. A total of 5 winners will be chosen from the Apprentice League and each winner will receive $1,000 USD worth of CM store vouchers and a chance to work closely with Cooler Master after the event.

5 Winners: $1000 CM Store Voucher
– CM Sponsorship
– Events invitations
– Workshop invitations

It’s important to note this isn’t a performance competition – so you won’t need to use the latest Intel i9 and RTX 2080Ti for your build to be relevant. Get creative and enjoy yourself, customise a tower build with steampunk pipes and paint if you like, or go for that crazy scratch build idea no-one has done before!

Want to get involved?

First step is to register, you can sign up for the Cooler Master CASEMOD 2019 here. (You have until June 15th)

Once that’s done you’ll want to create a build log entry, this is split into two parts depending on if you want to enter a scatch build or a tower mod. A scratch build is basically a computer where you don’t use a chassis as the base for the build, it can include parts of a case though in most instances these aren’t really recognisable 🙂 A tower mod is when you build a PC but alter the appearance of the case into something unique.

At GGPC our first entry into Casemod was in the scratch build category back in 2016, you can check out the GG Terrarium build on PC Part Picker for more information on that one – We’re busy brainstorming ideas for the new 2019 event, so keep an eye on our GGPC Instagram to follow our latest build along, we’ll also update with a PC Part Picker with our new GGPC Casemod once it’s completed!

GGPC Logitech G May Winner Announced!

UPDATE: This event has now ended, see the latest GGPC Promotions here!

May Grand Prize Winner is… Sonia P! Congratulations!

Throughout May, if you get yourself a Good Gaming PC you an register to redeem a G240 Gaming Mouse Pad to go with your new Gaming Rig.

The G240 provides edge-to-edge performance on a clean surface with just the right amount of friction for low-DPI manoeuvres. Crafted for maximum control of your mouse movements, your gaming will benefit from the consistent surface texture, also giving your mouse sensors better imagery for translating mouse movement into cursor movement.

A great mousepad for any mouse, but that’s not all, our May Gaming Prize Pack will also be going out to one lucky gamer!

IMPORTANT: To be in to win the MEGA Prize you must register for the Logitech G240 Bonus!

Our grand prize for May consisted of three distinctly impressive pieces of Logitech G Gaming Gear, the first of which releases in New Zealand later this month, just in time for our lucky winner to enjoy 🙂

The new Logitech G332 Gaming Headset is absolutely beautiful in black and red, pop it onto your head though and you’ll be treated to the glorious audio that comes from the big 50mm drivers within. Enjoy a complete, expansive soundscape for a more immersive gaming experience. Your favorite games will finally sound the way they’re supposed to: absolutely amazing.

A 6mm microphone makes sure your squadmates can hear you, and with the popular flip-to-mute boom feature it can silence you when you don’t want to be heard. Everything else about these headphones revolves around player comfort: The deluxe lightweight leatherette ear cups and headband are made to keep pressure off your ears.

Certainly a great a headset, but our lucky winner will need more so up next is the top-rated Logitech G512 Tactile Gaming Keyboard!

G512 is a high-performance gaming keyboard, delivering 1 ms report rate and featuring advanced Romer-G Linear mechanical switches. Full-spectrum RGB combine with LIGHTSYNC technology that takes the LED experience with your games to a whole new level! The aluminium alloy gives the G512 a blade like chassis with a beautiful brushed metal finish, on the back you’ll also find a handy USB port for convenience – plug in a device to charge or plug in a mouse, without missing a beat.

And speaking of a gaming mouse – we’ve got a great one to go with this!

The Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Gaming Mouse which features the newly created HERO 16K sensor,  full RGB LED Lighting and tunable weight options included. Capable of tracking insane flicks at speeds over 400 IPS without spinning out, HERO 16K delivers peak performance at any sensitivity with zero smoothing, acceleration, or filtering from 100 to 16,000 DPI. HERO 16K also consumes 10x less power than predecessors, like PMW3366.

Adjustable RGB lighting lets you select from up to 16.8 million colours and as our lucky winner is going to have a complete setup, Logitech Gaming Software will allow them to customise everything, and you can then set this theme over the whole kit – synchronizing lighting patterns and effects to bring the gaming setup to life with breathing or light cycling! When it comes time to play you can have your setup adjust to pre-loaded colour configurations automatically, each perfect setup highlighting the keys for the specific game you’re playing!

What a bunch of prizes!

Check out the all the latest Gaming PC and awesome Logitech G prizes at  PB Tech NZ, and keep your eyes on the GGPC Blog as we’ll announce the lucky MEGA PRIZE PACK winner at the end of the month!

GAME ON!